If you had to summarize summer in three words, which words would you choose? Swimming, picnics, and ice cream? Vacations, thunderstorms, and fireflies? Bikinis, bonfires, and s’mores? How about red, white, and blue?
To me, summer never fails to feel like one big patriotic party, and the colors of the season seem to agree. Other than the American flags we associate with Independence, Memorial, and Flag Days, those three colors bring to mind so many other iconic parts of summer from ripe strawberries, sunscreen, and the ocean to sunburns, sand, and tongues dyed blue by snow cones. Though I find it quirky, the inherent patriotism of summer doesn’t really surprise me because it gives we Americans an excuse to do what we do best (eat, drink, and shoot off fireworks), all in the name of celebrating our freedom.
Since summer and patriotism seem to go perfectly hand in hand, don’t you think it’s time your summertime food gets in on the action?
Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad
- 24 ounces (1 ½ pounds) mixed baby red, white, and blue potatoes, washed and eyes removed
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
- 2/3 ounce (about 1/3 cup) chives, cut into ½” long pieces
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, very finely minced or ground into a paste
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (use less if desired)
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for boiling potatoes
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Notes: I found red, white, and blue (sometimes called purple) potatoes pre-mixed in 1 1/2 pound bags. If you can’t find pre-mixed potatoes, just mix your own! If you can’t find baby colored potatoes, you can use bigger potatoes; just cut them into bite sized pieces before cooking. If you don’t like onion and garlic, you can omit them, however, I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of garlic powder to the boiling water with the potatoes. This recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled if you need to feed a crowd.
- Fill a large pot with water, leaving enough room to add the potatoes. Cover the pot, then bring the water to the boil over high heat.
- Once the water is boiling, remove the lid from the pot and add a couple of tablespoons of salt to the water (you want it “salty like the sea”). Add 1 ½ pounds red, white, and blue potatoes to the salted boiling water and cook until you can pierce the biggest one with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow to cool until you can comfortably handle them. Once cool, slice the potatoes into halves with a sharp knife, doing your best to keep the skin intact.
- In a large bowl, combine 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (or garlic paste), 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, ½ cup mayonnaise (homemade or store bought), ½ teaspoon coarse salt, and pepper to taste. Whisk the dressing and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- When you’re happy with the dressing, add the cooked and halved potatoes, ¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion and 2/3 ounce of chopped chives. Use your “kitchen clean” hands to mix the salad, taking care not to break up the potatoes.
- Once the potatoes are evenly coated with the dressing and the onions and chives are mixed in, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours or until ready to serve (up to 24 hours).
- Mix again just before serving. You can use a spoon this time if you’re not comfortable with touching food people are about to eat.
Serves 8-12 (depending on how many other sides you have)
Can’t get enough of red, white, and blue potatoes, try these: